Time to Kill

Author: Brian Freemantle
Severn House
RRP: 9.99, US $14.95
ISBN: 978 0 7278 9189 1
Available 27 August 2007

For the last fifteen years Jack Mason was once Russia's most successful plant in the CIA. He has been locked away in prison with only one thing on his mind. That one thing is to find and kill Colonel Dimitri Sobell, the man who betrayed him - the man who took his wife. When Sobell is informed that Mason is out of jail he knows its only a matter of time before he comes for him. So starts a dangerous game of cat and mouse in which only one of the men can survive...

Time to Kill is the new novel by Brian Freemantle, a prodigious novelist who has been translated into numerous languages.

I'm not really a fan of thrillers, though even as a non-fan I found the story of a man hell bent on revenge on the person who he blames for all the ills that have happened to him riveting. Mason has spent years blaming a single person, to the point of forgetting his own culpability, until all he can think about is killing the monstrosity that he has created in his head. Sobell, on the other hand, has taken Mason's wife, Ann, and disappeared into the witness protection scheme, a piece of Americana which does not sit well with him.

Freemantle certainly knows how to wrap the reader round his finger as he cranks up the tension leading his audience towards the inevitable showdown. Given the scarcity of characters the book relies on the reader becoming engrossed in Mason's quest for revenge and Sobell's attempts to say alive. In this Freemantle has done an excellent job, spending time rounding off his characters so you actually care what happens in the end.

So we have an interesting premise, good characterisation and a nice tense plot to keep you guessing about who will survive, if you're a fan of thrillers then Time to Kill will not disappoint.

Charles Packer

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